Top tips for your phone interview with a startup
If you have been looking into graduate jobs in startups, then you might have noticed that phone interviews are extremely common. They are a useful way for employers to screen candidates before a face-to-face interview, particularly if confidence and personality are key factors in the job role (usually the case in smaller companies and startups). Creating an impression over the phone can be more difficult than relying on body language and a good dress sense, but there are ways of turning it to your advantage.
Prepare in the same way for a phone interview for a graduate startup job that you would for a full interview. Ensure you know the company inside out, as well as your own credentials. You won’t have the benefit of being able to distract your listener with hand gestures, and awkward silences over the phone sound a whole lot more awkward. Combat this by being able to speak fluidly about what you have to offer and what you understand about the graduate job itself.
Keep everything you need within easy reach. It’s fine to have notes or a CV laid out in front of you, but don’t go rustling about looking for a certain sheet of paper halfway through the call. Staying focused is an essential part of a phone interview so don’t distract yourself unnecessarily.
Although it’s fine to have notes, don’t think you can get away with reading straight from a piece of paper. Nobody wants to listen to a monosyllabic explanation of your key skills and achievements. Speak with enthusiasm, use gestures as if you are in the room with them and above all, smile!
Dress the part. Ok, so you might not want to don a full suit, but equally pyjamas aren’t going to make you feel professional in the slightest. Wear something appropriate, sit up straight (or even stand up – get oxygen pumping to your brain!) and you will sound way more alert, and therefore more interested.
Make sure your environment is controlled. Don’t sit at the kitchen table only to have housemates in and out making cups of tea. Find a quiet space and tell everyone in the vicinity to keep quiet (or better yet, just firmly suggest they all go out for lunch). Removing external disturbances will leave you free to concentrate.
BrighterBox helps graduates through the interview process from start to finish. Search ‘BrighterBox jobs’ to see the latest roles up for grabs.